Monday, February 24, 2014

Dueling Banjos by Eric Weissberg, Marshall Brickman and Steve Mandel from the Original Soundtrack to Deliverance

Is this a movie soundtrack or a bluegrass album? Well, it is both, actually; the soundtrack to the movie Deliverance and probably the album that introduced bluegrass music to many people who may not have heard it before. If you like guitar and banjo pickin' music, then this album will more than satisfy your needs. The fact that it was originally released back in 1972 makes it all the more interesting as it still sounds fresh today.

Amazon review:
Wonderful, exhilarating, breathtaking music, both in speed and execution. Banjoist Eric Weissberg has spent most of his career in relative obscurity as a studio musician, which is a shame as he is one of the finest banjo players to ever pick up the instrument. City born and musically educated at the University of Wisconsin and Juilliard, Weissberg was a seminal banjo picker who combined the power and taste of Earl Scruggs along with the progressive melodic banjo stylings of the 1960s.

Obviously, the album features the definitive version of "Dueling Banjos" that Weissberg recorded with Steve Mandel. The rest of the tracks come from an incredible album called "New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass," released by Elektra in 1963. Most of the tracks feature brilliant dual arrangements between Weissberg and Marshall Brickman, a banjoist who left the music world behind to write movies for Hollywood (The Bad News Bears, co-writer for Annie Hall). They are backed by guitar legend, Clarence White, who creates beautiful backup runs on songs like "Pony Express" and fine solos throughout. I think the fiddler was Gordon Terry, whose atmospheric style on "Reuben's Train" will make your hair stand on end.

The album is loaded with famous and oft-copied banjo licks, including the descending single-string work on Little Maggie, the "bumblebee break" on an insane version of "Shucking the Corn," the C-F-E-C chord sequence on "Riding the Waves," and some of the fastest (and cleanest) banjo work you'll ever hear anywhere on songs like "Rawhide" and "Hard, 'Aint it Hard".

1. Dueling Banjos
2. Little Maggie
3. Shuckin' The Corn
4. Pony Express
5. Old Joe Clark
6. Eight More Miles To Louisville
7. Farewell Blues
8. Earl's Breakdown
9. End Of A Dream
10. Buffalo Gals
11. Reuben's Train
12. Riding The Waves
13. Fire On The Mountain
14. Eighth Of January
15. Bugle Call Rag
16. Hard Ain't It Hard
17. Mountain Dew
18. Rawhide

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bad from the motion picture by David Graney and Clare Moore..underrated gem

This rare soundtrack to the 2003 Australian movie crosses several genres including jazz, lounge, film noir and even some quiet soul funk. The interesting thing is that it was all done by the same composers, David Graney and Clare Moore. David and Clare have come up with a score that resembles scores to movies like Ocean's Eleven and Pulp Fiction with shades of Ry Cooder and David Holmes. Whilst essentially a soundtrack album, this is one that can be listened to on its own and still be entertaining (even with the snippets of dialogue added in, which aren't obtrusive). It reminds one of those crime thrillers from the 40s and 50s but with a contemporary sound. Possibly one of those underrated gems for soundtrack collectors. Oh, and the movie itself is one very funny black comedy.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Selena..Original Motion Picture Score by Dave Grusin

Selena (1997) tells the true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts. The movie was written and directed by Gregory Nava and stars Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos and Jon Seda.

The score is by jazz composer Dave Grusin. Dave has done a great job for scoring the movie and it brings out the exact moments in the movie, whether they be happy or sad, and also making sure the movie is a memorable one. See more on Dave Grusin here..

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tango: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin

While director Carlos Saura employs the eponymous, erotically tinged ballroom dance form both as vehicle and metaphor for his film's storytelling, Argentine composer and film and TV scorer Lalo Schifrin in turn uses the film's score as framework for a rich musical tapestry that stretches from the traditionally familiar ("El Choclo") to the dark, rhythmic fury of his own classical-dance fusion ("La Represion"). 

Schifrin, a six-time Oscar nominee and winner of four Grammy Awards, spent his early career as pianist for tango composing legend Astor Piazzolla; that experience, along with his accomplished classical, film, and jazz work, has informed a score that may both surprise traditionalists with its adventurous diversity and give the rest of us a thrilling introduction to a vibrant musical form that continues to evolve. Interspersed with Schifrin's marvelous original compositions is a generous sampling of traditional tango music from composers such as Piazzolla, Canario, Salgan, and Filiberto. --Jerry

1. Tango del Atardecer Orchestra Ensemble  
2. Calambre Orchestra Ensemble  
3. El Choclo Orchestra Ensemble
4. Tango Bárbaro Orchestra Ensemble  
5. Caminito Orchestra Ensemble  
6. Tango Lunaire Orchestra Ensemble  
7. La Cumparsita Orchestra Ensemble  
8. Recuerdo Orchestra Ensemble  
9. Los Inmigrantes Orchestra Ensemble
10. A Fuego Lento Quinteto Real  
11. Quejas de Bandoneón Orchestra Ensemble  
12. A Juan Carlos Copes Orchestra Ensemble  
13. Nostalgias Juanjo Dominguez  
14. A Don Augustin Bardi Orchestra Ensemble  
15. La Represión Orquesta Filarmonica De Buenos Aires  
16. Flores del alma Viviana Vigil  
17. Picante Orchestra Ensemble  
18. Tango para Percusión Orchestra Ensemble  
19. Corazón de Oro Orchestra Ensemble  
20. Zorro Gris Orchestra Ensemble  
21. La Yumba Orchestra Ensemble
22. Tango del Atardecer (II)Orchestra Ensemble